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Unlikely Art: Lock and Skeleton Key

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This traditional lock can be seen all over Ecuador and in many other parts of Central and South America. It's basically a huge padlock that adorns the front doors of many haciendas and historic buildings. The locks weigh quite a bit as they are made of steel and the average size is at least 12 inches top to bottom by about 16 inches wide along the top.

Original antiques and new reproductions can be found at markets and stores in large cities and even in some of the smaller more remote Ecuadorian towns. Every lock carries it's own intricate design stamped or hammered into the surface. The skeleton keys are bulky and heavy which ensures any hacienda guest will leave them behind for safe keeping.

The mechanical simplicity and enormous size make these locks a fascinating reference to Ecuador's colonial past and continue to celebrate it's contemporary craftspeople. Beautiful and ornate!

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